Jefferson: Yeah, But Still a…Politician


In response to my thoughts yesterday on the uplifting message of ‘respect for political adversaries’ embedded in a recently auctioned letter between then President Thomas Jefferson and founding father John Dickinson, I got a couple of interesting responses that I’ll share here. First an aside though, a quick note on John Dickinson, the namesake of Dickinson College chartered in 1783 by Dr. Benjamin Rush. Rush convinced then Governor (then called President) of Pennsylvania John Dickinson to lend his support and…

A Founding Father’s Lesson: The Monarchist as Common Enemy


This weekend, a friend of mine spent a few tens of thousands of dollars buying a piece of American history at the Potomack Auction House in Alexandria, Virginia. He had been tipped off by Emily Heil’s recent Washington Post article that a letter written by then President Thomas Jefferson to another founding father, John Dickinson, was for sale. As Heil points out, the letter expresses Jefferson’s view of seeing political competitors, essentially, as rival sides of a single coin.  He…

Trump Dropped Davos — So Empty Without Me?



To weirdly paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen smacking down Dan Quayle, Donald Trump is no Eminem.  But the latter’s thumping Without Me would appeal to the Donald.  SNL should do a karaoke skit of Alec Baldwin/The Donald singing all those lines, maybe inserting Mueller for Moby.  In Trump’s mind, he is the party; he is the sizzle.  Eminem raps: But no matter how many fish in the sea It will be so empty without me And so Donald Trump dumping the World…

Doing Davos Again?


During the five days of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the talented Barry Colson has for years owned the anchor entertainer top spot at Davos’ Hotel Europa where the most highly credentialed multinational CEOs sing, badly but passionately, along with the uncredentialed hoi polloi who want to collect stardust wherever they can go without being blocked by battalions of Swiss WEF security mercenaries. ‘The Mooch’ loves the place.  So too Paul Jacobs, the once and perhaps future CEO of Qualcomm….

We Are Kicking Ass Against HIV/AIDS in Africa — but Failing in America


This commentary is offered by Mylan CEO Heather Bresch Africa or the US? Who’s doing a better job of suppressing HIV/AIDS? In today’s polarized political climate, the term “bipartisan collaboration” may seem like an unachievable goal. But one global health program proves it can be done – and done well. Founded by the Bush administration in 2003, continued by President Obama, and supported by President Trump, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a bipartisan success story that’s…

Pondering Clinton & Jeb from Paris


Unexpectedly I got a free day in Paris because United airlines took out of its fleet a plane deemed too risky.  I felt more lucky than frustrated when they decided to tow the plane away from the gate. As a result I got to spend an evening and morning with nearly 300 other stranded passengers, mostly Americans, who shared openly their thoughts about Hillary Clinton’s predictable announcement that she wanted to be in charge of more than the decorations and Easter…

Made in Japan: Fukushima Disaster



I finally got a chance to read TIME‘s excellent status report on the catastrophic nuclear power plant meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. The piece, “The World’s Most Dangerous Room” was authored by Hannah Beech with photos by Dominic Nahr. Best line in the piece references a statement in the 2012 Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission report (pdf): What must be admitted — very painfully — is that this was a disaster ‘Made in Japan.’  Its fundamental causes are to be found in…

National Geographic Winners



    Amazing photography, as usual from National Geographic‘s Traveler magazine Annual Photo Contest. Just had to share this prize winner taken by Marko Korošec.  This was his caption: While on storm chasing expeditions in Tornado Alley in the U.S. I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms. This photograph was taken while we were approaching a storm near Julesburg, Colorado, on May 28, 2013. The storm was tornado warned for more than one hour, but it stayed an LP [low precipitation]…

President Obama Honors Lost Korean Students


President Obama makes symbolic gesture honoring memory of the many students lost in the tragic Sewol Ferry incident. He gives a high school in Korea a beautiful Magnolia tree from the South Lawn of the White House where President Andrew Jackson planted a tree in memory of his wife, Rachel, who died two weeks after. This from New York Times White House correspondent Mark Landler‘s pool report: In memory of the hundreds of students and teachers who lost their lives…